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  • Writer's pictureOlga Lehmann, PhD

Short story: paths

There I was, sitting at my classroom in Kristiansand, wondering why my students weren't there. Were they studying for their presentations? Where they avoiding their oral presentations? Had I just messed up the schedule? Indeed, the class was at 12.30 and not at 09.00. So, I embarked on a walk on this whiteland. You should go to the beach, said my colleague, pointing after a path out of his window. Soon after, I was walking and praying for guidance to the wise woman within, since I have been trying to work out on a pattern of mine I dislike. I've been feeling stuck on this inner work the whole week.

Right there, as I was pronouncing these words in my heart, the floor cracked. I was standing on melting ice, and had just created a fissure on the ground. I could see yellow leaves dancing in the running water beneath. Scuse me, is this the message? What does this mean? I asked to the universe. And so I tried to keep crossing the path. Another fissure opened up. Do I really want this? I mean, do I want to break the ice? I mean, do I even want to go to that frozen beach? What do I want? And yet again, I moved few steps to my left and tried again, to what seemed more steady snow. A new fissure opened up. Oh, I do not want that: I don't want to hurt the landscape, nor do I want to feel all wet in this cold. I turned my gaze up, and saw a man walking down the hill in a yet new path. So I did follow this new path, and reminded myself: there are always new paths. What is what braking a pattern is after all! I don't really need to "break it", I just need to change direction. Voilà! 

But this new path was slippery and sloped. Do I want this? Do I really want this new path? I kept walking though, and breathing. Then, I saw a new path down the hill, and I could see the white fiord at the end of it. So I kept walking down, and soon after I noticed this path was not going to the beach! But was going to the highway. Last month I tried to find the highway without success and ended up calling a taxi to take me to the airport instead. Now I know how to get to the highway, even though I don't know yet how to get to the beach. I just sat on the snow to write down my insights and returned to campus. I saw the icy path on the way back, and smiled at it, bowing to the message that it had given to me. 

I do want to keep walking on the hills of my life, uncovering destinations that I had declared lost or closed, while I open up for new roads and directions that move me aside from the patterns that am exhausted of. 

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